Friday, June 27, 2014

Council Meeting 1 July, 2014 - Voluntary Planning Application (VPA) for Rebank development

The council meeting on 24/7/14 was suspended when five councillors walked out mid-way through, after Mayor Ford refused to allow Councillor Williams to speak out against the VPA. The advantage here is that the Voluntary Planning Application (VPA) now needs to go up in front of Council again. The community has another chance to let its feelings be known.
The community attendance at the meeting was not great. We appreciate you have lives, we can’t help but wonder if the bulk of you simply hoped there would be enough “others” to communicate community opinion? We also appreciate that many of you feel jaded after attending other rallies and seeing how little our voice seems to count to Council. We all feel jaded.
The VPA examines what the developer proposes to provide by way of infrastructure with the Redbank development at Grose Vale. That development, for those new to this page, has been approved and will create 1400 new home sites in Grose Vale Road. In conjunction with the over-55s village already onsite, this will result in around 3000 more cars per day on the roads in and around North Richmond, including on the already congested access across the river.
The developer proposes to do nothing to rectify this until several hundred new homes have been built. In layman’s terms this means that absolutely nothing is already investigated or guaranteed and we would not see anything even CONSIDERED until at least 2017. Three more years of ever increasing traffic jams people. THEN, they will need to go through planning, environmental studies and other due diligence. Estimations and timings raised at the council meeting are they would not have alternative river for a long time off, if at all. 
The suggested alternative route across the river is not to widen to North Richmond Bridge but to create a new bridge in Navua Reserve in Grose Wold and cut across to Castlereagh Road…This is not investigated in any way, shape or form for feasibility. Should this solution not go ahead (and many say it won’t), then the developer is under no obligation to deliver any solution at all, but instead will provide Hawkesbury Council or RMS with $23m for roads and infrastructure.
Four Councillors – Paine, Lyons-Buckett, Williams, Calvert are proposing the Developer should provide an infrastructure solution prior to building the 1400 new homes. One Councillor (Rasmussen) is abstaining due to pecuniary interest.
Despite 4,500 petition signatures and around 300 submissions against development without infrastructure first, seven councillors still don’t understand what an issue the traffic is to this community.
Make no mistake, as they form the majority, the seven remaining councillors: Ford, Porter, Connolly, Creed, Tree, Mackay and Reardon will support the developer's VPA to do nothing until somewhere between 400-800 houses have been built (that number still to be determined).
The only hope we have to make them reconsider (even if it is to question their chance of re-election) is to turn up next Tuesday 1 July at 6:30pm at Council.
ACTION FOR YOU: Jaded or not, We really urge you to find a couple of hours to come along to Council meeting NEXT Tuesday 1 July (366 George St Windsor) and let them see how you feel. You have a week’s notice to get a babysitter, try to slip away from work early or whatever has kept you from coming until now. It doesn’t matter if you are a couple of minutes late. Tell your neighbours. Tell your friends. Copy this post and email it to those not on Facebook. Show Council how important this traffic issue is to this community. Please give some indication if you will be coming. This truly seems to be your last chance to have a say!